SYDNEY (Australian Press Council/Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): The Australian Press Council has welcomed its first Indigenous publication as a member – the Koori Mail, a fortnightly newspaper with a national readership of some 100,000.
The Koori Mail is arguably the most respected and most successful Aboriginal newspaper in Australia, says the council in a statement. It was founded in 1991 by a group of five Aboriginal organisations in Bundjalung Country around Lismore, NSW.
These five organisations, all equal shareholders, are:
- Bunjum Co-operative (Cabbage Tree Island)
- Buyinbin Inc (Casino)
- Kurrachee Co-operative (Coraki)
- Bundjalung Tribal Society (Lismore), and
- Nungera Co-operative (Maclean)
The Koori Mail provides news, commentary, advertisements and other material of vital interest to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to other Australians interested in Indigenous affairs.
The newspaper is 100 percent Aboriginal-owned and all profits go to Indigenous people in the form of dividends, sponsorships or scholarships.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) views the Koori Mail as a valuable source of information about Aboriginal life in the country and as a historical record.
AIATSIS maintains a complete digital archive of all editions of the Koori Mail.
“We are delighted to be joining the Australian Press Council,” said Naomi Moran.
“As Australia’s only national fortnightly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper, we are thrilled to be joining the Australian Press Council,” said general manager Naomi Moran. “For the past 25 years, we have been sharing news from our communities with the nation.
“The DNA of our publication—what makes us the voice of Indigenous Australia— is our responsibility to cultural sensitivity and understanding. With our content as the heartbeat, a good standard of media practice ensures our newspaper continues to live and breathe authentic storytelling.”
“We look forward to working closely with the Press Council to support other print media platforms to implement the same cultural care when reporting on Indigenous issues.”
The chair of the Press Council, Professor David Weisbrot, said: “This is an exceptionally important milestone in the 40-year development of the Press Council, one that is long overdue.
“We have made a concerted effort over the past two years to try to attract member publications that reflect the nature and diversity of Australian society.
“The editors and staff of the Koori Mail will help the council in a variety of ways to incorporate Indigenous perspectives and better appreciate the challenges of quality media reporting of Indigenous matters,” the professor said.
Professor Weisbrot said: “The council’s next challenge is to ensure that further Indigenous publications join, as well as many more mastheads from the thriving multicultural press in Australia.”
The Australian Press Council was established in 1976 and is responsible for promoting good standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest, and freedom of expression through the media.
Press Council membership encompasses most of the major newspaper, magazine and online publishers in Australia, accounting for approximately 95 percent of circulation.
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